Pennsylvania Health Dept. reports first West Nile Virus cases of 2013

west nile virus
Credit: Metro File Photo

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has detected the state’s first probable human cases of West Nile Virus in 2013, the agency announced Friday.

Officials said a Montgomery County man was hospitalized due to West Nile Virus, while a York County man also tested positive for the infection but was not hospitalized.

Regular mosquito population surveillance conducted by the Department of Environmental Protection has so far detected West Nile Virus-infected mosquitos in 36 counties, but authorities warned the infection is likely present in other areas, as well.

However, the results of regular statewide sampling of more than one million mosquitos has turned up relatively low amounts of West Nile Virus, leading experts to conclude Pennsylvania is this year seeing localized outbreaks of the virus, as opposed to the statewide outbreak that occurred last year.

“DEP has worked diligently all summer long to monitor and control the mosquito population,” Acting DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo said in a release.

“We are committed to continuing this effort until West Nile Virus no longer poses a threat to our health.”

Residents are in the meantime strongly urged to minimize their exposure to mosquitos.

“Our first positive human case of West Nile Virus serves as a reminder of the importance of prevention and education,” Secretary of Health Michael Wolf said in a statement.

“There are a few simple steps we can all take to help prevent the spread of this virus among our families and in our communities.”

Those include eliminating standing and stagnant water, which act as a breeding ground for virus transmitting mosquitos.

Pennsylvanians are advised to remove any flower pots, discarded tires, ornamental pools, birdbaths or other objects near homes that could collect standing water, to drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors, to clean and chlorinate swimming pools, and to have roof gutters cleaned every year.

Standing water that can’t be eliminated should be treated with BTI products, which kill mosquito larvae and are sold at outdoor supply and home improvement stores.

Mosquitos are most active at dawn and dusk but can bite at any time.

State officials advise citizens to, when outdoors, consistently use DEET-containing insect repellants and to cover exposed skin.

The Department of Environmental Protection will through October continue to survey mosquito populations to monitor the size and scope of the West Nile Virus and will, when necessary, conduct control activities to lessen the threat to human health.

For more information on Pennsylvania’s West Nile Virus control program, including up-to-date results on confirmed positive cases, click here.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth pulls off epic photobomb

The selfie / photobomb has gone viral.

Local

Astoria minivan crash kills 1, injures 6: NYPD

Anthony Boyd, 45, died soon after what investigators believe was some sort of medical emergency as he drove his family through Astoria on Sunday afternoon.

Local

NYC pension funds valued at $160b: Scott Stringer

The five NYC pension funds that thousands of city employees contribute to saw its fifth year in a row of increased returns, up $23 billion from last year.

International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Entertainment

'Kim Kardashian: Hollywood' game easter eggs and cheats

"Kim Kardashian: Hollywood" is the hottest game of the moment. Here are its best easter eggs as well as some tips and tricks to speed your way to the top.

Television

Kacy Catanzaro credits mind over body in "American…

Kacy Catanzaro credits her victory to mental focus and upper body strength.

Entertainment

Q&A: The brains behind 'Kim Kardashian: Hollywood'

"Kim Kardashian: Hollywood" is the hottest game of the moment. We talked with Christopher Locke of Glu Canada to find out more about developing the game.

Movies

The 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' trailer is…

Watch 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' trailer.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Tech

Amazon offers 3D printing to customize earrings, bobble…

By Deepa SeetharamanSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc will offer 3D printing services that allow customers to customize and build earrings, bobble head toys and…

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…